Historical background and Chronological order of events
- The decision to draw up a Charter of fundamental rights was taken by the European Council (summit of the heads of state and government of the member states of the European Union) when it met in Cologne, Germany, on 3 and 4 June 1999.
Cologne European Council, 3 and 4 June 1999
Cologne European Council Conclusions, 3 and 4 June 1999
- Four months later, on 15 and 16 October in Tampere, Finland, the European Council laid down the composition and working methods of the body responsible for drawing up the draft Charter, which later on took the name of ?Convention?. The bureau of the Convention took the name of ?Praesidium?.
Tampere European Council, 15 and 16 October 1999
The Drafting Convention
- On 13 September 2000, the European Commission published its first communication on the draft Charter. It supported the draft but suggested as well some changes.
Commission communication on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- On 11 October 2000, the European Commission published its second communication on the Charter and adopted a more pragmatic approach.
Commission communication on the Legal nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- At the European Council meeting held in Biarritz (13-14 October 2000) the draft Charter was unanimously approved and forwarded to the European Parliament and the Commission.
- The European Parliament gave its agreement on 14 November 2000 and the Commission on 6 December 2000.
- The Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed and proclaimed the Charter on behalf of their institutions on 7 December 2000 in Nice.
Treaty of Nice website
Nice European Council, 7 and 9 December 2000
Declarations by the Presidents of the European Council, the Commission and the Commissioner of Justice and Home Affairs
- One year later, in December 2001, the European Council met in Laeken (Belgium) and agreed to convene a Convention on the Future for Europe. One of its principal tasks was to decide whether the Charter should be included in EU law, and whether the EU should sign up to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).
The Laeken European Council website
Laeken European Council, 14 and 15 December 2001?
Communication of the European Commission on the mandate of the new European Convention on the Future of Europe
Declaration of Laeken on the Future of the European Union, 15 December 2001
- On 10 July 2003, the European Convention under the chairmanship of Valerie Giscard d?Estaing, finished the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and submitted it to the President of the European Council. The European Convention incorporated the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as Part Two of the text.
European Convention website
- On 18 July 2003, the Chairman of the European Convention officially handed over the full draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe to the Italian Presidency of the European Council and called upon the Italian Presidency to conduct productive discussions in relation to the draft Treaty in order for it to be agreed by all Member States.
Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
Report from the Presidency of the Convention to the President of the European Council
Rome Declaration of Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, Chairman of the European Convention
- Italy who held the Presidency of the European Council from 1 July to 31 December 2003 discussed the draft Treaty extensively but didn?t manage to reach a final agreement on the Draft Constitutional Treaty.
Italian Presidency of the European Council website
- Amendments were made to the EU Charter. A couple of paragraphs were added to the Preamble of the Charter and to certain Articles relating to the General provisions of the Charter.
2003 IGC: Editorial and legal adjustments to the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and to the Protocols - Presentation of the outcome of proceedings of the Working Party - CIG 50/03
IGC 2003 - Naples Ministerial Conclave: Presidency proposal (Addendum to the Presidency note)
IGC 2003 - Naples Ministerial Conclave: Presidency proposal (Revised text)
IGC 2003 - Intergovernmental Conference (12-13 December 2003) ADDENDUM 1 to the Presidency proposal
Because the Italian Presidency failed to reach an agreement on the draft Constitutional Treaty, the Irish Presidency had to take over the discussions. Ireland took over the Presidency of the European Council on 1 January 2004 to 30 June 2004.
Irish Presidency of the European Council website
More discussions and changes were made to the draft Constitutional Treaty and to the EU Charter.
IGC 2003 ? Ministerial meeting, Luxembourg, 14 June 2004
IGC 2003 ? Meeting of Heads of State or Government, Brussels, 17/18 June 2004??? (82/04)
IGC 2003 ? Meeting of Heads of State or Government, Brussels, 17/18 June 2004 (83/04)
IGC 2003 ? Meeting of Heads of State or Government, Brussels, 17/18 June 2004 (84/04)
IGC 2003 ? Meeting of Heads of State or Government, Brussels, 17/18 June 2004 (85/04)
On 17 and 18 June 2004, an agreement was finally reached on the draft Constitutional Treaty in which the EU Charter has been incorporated.
Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
Announcement by the President of the European Council on the agreement that was reached on the draft Constitutional Treaty
Shortly after the Heads of State reached an agreement on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, the EU published a guide for its citizens. It is essential to inform and to explain its content in order for citizens to understand and to express their views about this new Treaty and about the European Union freely in the public debate.
Guide for Citizens
PowerPoint presentation of the Constitution for citizens
After reaching an agreement on the draft Constitutional Treaty, all 25 EU Member States?were required?to ratify?the draft?Treaty?in order for it to have legal effect. All 25 EU Members need to submit the Treaty to their National Parliaments or hold referenda. The two no votes in France and the Netherlands against the EU Constitution has put the ratification process of the draft Constitutional Treaty?on hold. No one exactly knows what is going to happen to the draft Constitutional Treaty.